US real estate is haven for African money-laundering, report says

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The Global Financial Integrity (GFI) and the Financial Transparency Coalition published a new report this month by Lakshmi Kumar and Kaisa de Bel titled ‘Acres of Money Laundering: Why U.S. Real Estate is a Kleptocrat’s Dream’.

In the report, GFI built a database of more than 100 real-estate money laundering cases – from the US, UK, and Canada – reported between 2015 and 2020. The database, says GFI, shows that the current US regulatory approach “has critical shortcomings that will require comprehensive reform”.

In 13% of the US cases, the source of illicit money came from sub-Saharan Africa, with origins including Guinea, Gambia, Republic of Congo and Nigeria, the report says. The Republic of Congo was also one of the top sources of foreign illicit money being invested in Canadian real estate, it adds.

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